Processes of Remediation: art, relationships, nature
Processes of Remediation: art, relationships, nature is a residency and exhibition curated by Josephine Mills of University of Lethbridge Art Gallery Jan 21 - August 26, 2021.
The project draws on Bartol’s work with dowsing (she comes from a long line of water witches) and the history of dowsing in connection to mining/resource extraction. Specifically, Bartol researched Martine de Bertereau, one of the first (recognized) female mineralogists and mining engineers in 17th century France who traveled Europe in search of mineral deposits utilizing specialized divining instruments and other techniques including botany. She was accused of witchcraft and died in France while in prison. The story of de Bertereau is a complex one that points to the violence of resource extraction and the development of capitalism that she both participated in and was killed by. In her artwork, Bartol uses dowsing to ask us to reconsider consumption-driven relationships to the earth and what are known as 'natural resources'.
Bartol’s research has also included using the Galt Museum Archives in Lethbridge, Alberta to study relationships with the coal deposits and mining history around Lethbridge. The gardeners at the Coutts Centre, particularly Kara Matthews and John Stoll, have provided extensive knowledge about local plants and soil health. Elders and Knowledge Keepers Mary Fox, Bruce Wolf Child, Monte Little Plume, Andrea Fox, and Melissa Shouting have shared knowledge about Blackfoot protocols with the land and plants. Bartol has been mentoring emerging artists Kylie Fineday and Angeline Simon, who are each developing solo projects for the uLethbridge Art Gallery for 2021.
-Josephine Mills, Curator
Watch a video tour of the exhibition here. To learn more about the project, visit http://dowsinganddigging.com, a blog created as part of the residency. Photos: blikarts.ca.